June/July  2017

Greetings Fellow Optimists,

The Albuquerque Convention is almost here! Our 99th Annual Convention, like all prior ones, will be a great learning, and sharing opportunity. It is always a great time to visit with old friends, and make new ones to expand the circle of Optimist friendship! Fun, friendship, fellowship, leadership training, and great presentations make up an awesome agenda. If you have not made your reservations yet, now is the time! Together we learn, share and grow – I hope to see you in Albuquerque! 

We have four months left in the “Year of the Honor Club!” Our overall goal is really quite simple, and that is to leave Optimist International in a position to serve more youth than when we began our year. We are not quite there, but we are seeing very positive signs! We have to remember that the kids of today need us more than ever before. 

One of the best ways to strive toward that goal is, of course, Honor Club. I’d like to share an interesting statistic – over the past ten years, we have averaged 19.58% of our Clubs being Honor Club. If 20% of our Clubs achieve Honor Club status, we would serve an additional 47,500 youth!  And, isn’t that what we are all about as Optimists? 

Another reminder is “The Power of One!” We all want Optimist International to grow and be able to serve more youth! To ensure that we can indeed do that, I would challenge each and every Optimist Member to find their own replacement. Someone who will carry on what we do – serve youth, community, and grow personally as we serve. Unfortunately, many have never recruited that one Member to succeed themselves. I am sure that each one of us has ONE friend, co-worker, acquaintance, church friend or family member who would be a great addition to your Club! Please find that person and invite them to join our organization. 

As the school year ends, remember our "Recruit a Teacher" incentive. This is a great time to recruit teachers. What better connection can we have to youth we serve than through their teachers? This is a great opportunity to add teachers in the “Club within a Club” model since many teachers and others have an issue with weekly meetings. New times call for new ideas and actions. Contact the Membership Department at membership@optimist.org regarding questions about the Teachers Incentive or “Club within a Club.” 

I wish you all a great summer! Wherever you may travel, travel safely and return home safely. Remember we have four months to leave our legacy – and that is to ENABLE Optimist International to serve more youth than we did as of October 1! Let’s have the “Year of the Honor Club” blow away the old records so kids win! I know we can do it. See you in Albuquerque!

Together We Can!  Together We Will!

Jim Kondrasuk
2016-17 International President
Optimist International

Still Time to Register for Convention!

Do you still need to register, make a hotel reservation, look for travel discounts and an updated convention schedule?

For this information and more, visit the convention page of the website at www.optimist.org/convention.

See everyone in sunny Albuquerque!
Global Spotlight

The Optimist International Global Spotlight was created to provide another means of communication between Optimist International and the Optimist Club Presidents outside of the United States and Canada.  The newsletter is sent monthly.

To view the May Global Spotlight, click  here.
Optimist International Oratorical World Championships 

The 2nd Annual Optimist International Oratorical World Championships is tomorrow, June 15 and Friday, June 16 at Saint Louis University Center of Global Citizenship in St. Louis, Missouri.

Stream the event at www.optimist.org/stream Click here for the schedule of events, including the speaking order of Regions & Districts.

Good luck to all contestants and thank you to all Optimists who participate in the Oratorical Program!

Live from Albuquerque

All the action at the 2017 International Convention will be streamed live. The Board of Directors meeting, the Opening Ceremonies, and the Business sessions will be streaming live on the Optimist channel at optimist.org/stream.

Here are approximate times for each event. If you are unable to attend, tune in to the live streams.

Board of Directors Meeting - Wednesday, July 5 @ 8:30AM-3:00PM

Opening Ceremonies - Thursday, July 6 @ 7:00-8:30PM

First Business Session - Friday, July 7 @ 9:00-11:30AM
Keynote Speaker Jean Nadeau
Awards Presentations
Resolutions Report & Voting

Second/Closing Business Session - Saturday, July 8 @ 1:00-3:30PM
2015-16 Distinguished Governors
Awards Presentations & Introductions
Bylaws Report & Voting
President-Elect Nick Prillaman
President Jim Kondrasuk’s Closing Remarks
Optimist Creed

Gift for Graduating Seniors

In order to help students remain Optimists, Optimist International is offering all Junior Optimists graduating from high school a free membership for any adult or college Optimist Club. Your Club will not be billed a $15.00 processing fee OR international dues for a full calendar year. 

Contact membership@optimist.org for more information.
Help Make Education Affordable

Are you looking for a simple way to give the gift of higher education and help youth reach their full potential?

Donate to the oratorical program here. Share the link on your social media accounts to encourage non-Optimists to donate.
Membership News

Congratulations to the New Mexico-West Texas and GATEway Districts for utilizing the “Club within a Club” program last week!

The Coronado Optimist Club of Bernalillo, New Mexico was an older Club that was down to only seven Members before revitalizing themselves with a 15 Member “Club within a Club” of young professionals.

The Optimist Club of Kennesaw, Georgia formed their “Club within a Club” with teachers from various schools who were involved with their Junior Optimist Clubs. This was a great way to strengthen their relationship with the school district. They were also able to take advantage of the $30 “Recruit a Teacher" memberships.

The “Recruit a Teacher” incentive ends on June 30th so get out there and recruit teachers from your local schools for only $30 for their first year!

Don't miss your chance to win $500 in the quarterly membership drawing:

Upcoming Events  

Optimist International Oratorical World Championships
June 15-16, 2017 (St. Louis, MO)
Junior Optimist International Convention
July 3-5, 2017 (Albuquerque, NM) 
99th Optimist International Convention  
July 6-8, 2017 (Albuquerque, NM)
Official Optimist International Suppliers

United States and the Caribbean:

Ansell's Awards and Specialties
Optimist Golf logo

Fall Optimist Junior Tour Events

Junior golfers can now register for the following Fall Optimist Junior Tour Events:  2017 Kingsville Ontario Canadian Open and  Optimist Junior Tour at Green Valley Ranch.

These are qualifiers for the 2018 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships.  These tournaments are 36-hole events for male and female junior golfers ages 11-18.  Boys will compete in either the 11-13, 14-15 or 16-18 age divisions while a girls division will be offered for ages 11-13 and 14-18. Top finishers from these tournaments will be exempt from having to qualify for the summer 2018 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  No Membership Fee required to play in these events.

For more information, visit the Optimist Junior Golf website or contact golf@optimist.org

Benchmark Club Projects

Every month, Optimist International will feature a Club project in the Leadership Hotline and on the Optimist International website. The Benchmark Club Projects will highlight a successful project, along with information about the host Optimist Club. 

The Route 66 Optimist Club of Albuquerque has an extremely impressive list of projects to keep them busy 24/7!  One big project they do is giving back to those who need it most. These active Optimist Members also work hard every day at improving the lives of the teen-aged members of their homeless community by partnering with the Atrisco Heritage, Cibola and Rio Grande High Schools.  The schools have the necessary facilities to allow homeless students to come to school early every day to take a shower and the Club maintains the closets of clothing. Read more here.

Below are lists of items that you can bring to convention to help the homeless in Albuquerque. Anything you can give will help make a difference:
  • Women's Home: children's clothing (3 months - size 16)
  • Homeless teens ages 15-17:  socks, t-shirts, baseball caps, and personal hygiene items such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shower cap (hotel amenities), toothbrush, toothpaste, combs, hairbrushes, and deodorants 
  • Miscellaneous items: baby blankets, backpacks, small and large totes

For questions, contact convention@optimist.org.

Update Member Information

To ensure each Optimist Member is receiving important information from Optimist International, encourage each Member to update their contact information with a leader in your Club. This includes addresses, email addresses and phone numbers. Each leader (Club President, Secretary, or Treasurer) has a log-in for Optimist Leaders to update the Members’ information. For log-in instructions, click here.
Contact the International Board of Directors 

If you have comments, concerns or suggestions for the International Board of Directors, please send to board@optimist.org
Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation

Visual arts, music, dance are just a few forms of creative expression and the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation is proud to support each one! Congratulations to the Kids Mental Health Optimist Club of Canada for their $500 grant to be used for their Optimist Kids Music Performance film. The film’s aim is creating a community of support to kids through music!

Does your Club have a project idea? Hurry, there’s less than one month left to apply for the Canadian Children's Optimist Foundation Club Grant for the 3rd quarter. Deadline: June 30 2017. Apply here!

Billing and Exchange Rate information 

At the 2016 Optimist International Convention in Quebec City, there were two proposed changes to the Optimist International bylaws to improve the way Canadian Clubs were billed.  The first proposal, to set the rate of exchange at par, was withdrawn. The second, to set the exchange rate to a cap of 1.20 was tabled after much debate. Read more here

Click here to view Billing - ICD 11

For questions, contact Jacques Pelland at jacques.pelland@optimist.org.